Wednesday, November 5, 2008

A Letter From Tom and Wayne

Judge Sellers announced his judgment.

We expect that the judge will sign a final judgment in our case in the next few days, granting the EOP ownership of our land and building and ownership of the personal property the Kirk owned as of August 15, 2006 The Judge stayed the effect of his ruling until December 1, 2008. This means that any time after 5:00 pm December 1, 2008 they have the right to seek to evict us.

The filing of the judgment means that our 30-day appeal “clock” begins ticking. In order to preserve our right to appeal, we are preparing to file in a timely manner, even while negotiations continue regarding the deal on our property.

The deal has not yet been consummated because the PCUSA, at the last minute, entered what we believe is an additional condition to the sale. While the EOP promised us that the PCUSA was “on board” with all the details we had negotiated, it became evident that the PCUSA had not even been consulted.

If, in the meantime, we go into appeal, there still is the possibility of negotiating a bond so that we can stay in place until any appeal is decided, but that is anything but certain. Our attorneys are re-entering negotiations to re-purchase the property, but trust and certainty are issues.

We don’t want to hand over $1.75 million (or any other amount), only to have another part of the denominational bureaucracy sue us again for the same amount or more. Unless our payment gives us free, clear, and marketable title to the property, and is confirmed by an owner’s title insurance policy, then there can be no deal.

The process has become harder for us to complete, and even the idea of our church building being at risk is emotionally difficult. We certainly still believe that we have been wronged by the denomination, and that the court has erred in its decision (so far). Since the judge held to the “deference principle,” he left us to the “fairness” of the church courts, denying us our real day in court.

We are considering all of these issues, seeking God's wisdom and guidance. The decisions we will make will be based on His leading which are in the best interest of our congregation and the cause of His Kingdom.

There are other concerns.

In one of the most recent filings by the EOP, they told the judge that they planned to operate a church in our facility after evicting us. We don’t see how they could do this according to their constitution, since they announced this without first receiving approval from the presbytery as a whole. We believe that this statement is one meant to divide our congregation. If the EOP does start a church at our facility, it will be to try to divide us by attracting some of you to stay put where we’ve worshiped for decades.

The representatives of the EOP are publicly saying that the Kirk is a “deeply divided congregation.” We believe that they wish it were so. The truth is the opposite. We are so grateful for your support and unity. More than 1,100 of us gathered for worship on Sunday, and we expect to continue to honor the Lord in worship together, without fail.

We will appeal the judge’s decision. Because of the nature of the decision, this appeal would be on a “fast track” to the Oklahoma Supreme Court. Even though it’s a “fast track,” courts take time to make decisions, so it will probably be six months at the least and 15 months at the most.

What do we need from you?

Pray for us. We feel those prayers, and they are powerful.

Keep encouraging each other. We have a wonderful, caring congregation. It is important that we support each other and not let circumstances discourage us.

Remain faithful in your worship attendance. Although we love the facility the Lord has granted us so far, we know the Church is the people, not the place.

If you are able, keep up your tithes, offerings, and gifts. Our monthly cost will go down a bit while we worship at Metro, because it won’t be as expensive as our current building costs. However, we still have vital programs and missions that need your support.

What do you need from us?

Please feel free to call or email any pastor or elder of the Kirk. All their names and numbers are listed at the end of this document. Don’t hesitate to contact us, whatever the reason.

In the meantime we will continue to worship where we are. If that situation changes, you’ll be among the first to hear about it.

Wayne Hardy and Tom Gray
Kirk of the Hills Evangelical Presbyterian Church

No comments:

Presbylaw temporary site.

Announcement Policy

If you have comments, corrections, or updates to this website please email me: PRESBYLAW webmaster or leave a comment.

If you wish to make a church announcement of a vote or lawsuit, I will need to verify. You either need to send it via a email that I can publicly verify belongs to the church, or point to a website with a news story, or official church website. Contacting the layman may be a better route.


FEED PCUSA List Feed Atom Feed of Blog Posts
EMAIL PRESBYLAW webmaster Comments, corrections, updates
NEWS PRESBYWEB: Viewpoint PCUSA Property Trust History Disputed By Jeffrey C. Francis
PDF Memorial Park on Seperation Bulletin Insert for May 6th
Web Kirk's Legal Docs (pdfs) Kirk Of The Hills, Tulsa, OK
PDF PCUSA Articles of Incorporation Churches can't be a member of the PCUSA according to its own articles of incorporation
PDF Legal Strategy #1PC(USA)'s Legal Strategy for churches wanting to leave
PDF Presbyteries Process #2 PC(USA)'s Process for churches wanting to leave
Doc Secret Document #3 News about a third secret document
PDF Process Administrative Review Process from the Synod of the Northeast
PDF Presbytery Of New Covenant Process For Addressing Churches Seeking To Withdraw From PC(USA)
PDF Wabash Valley Presbytery Separatist Task Force
Doc PC(USA): Constitutional Musings: Note 12 Responding Pastorally to Troubled Churches
Doc PC(USA): Advisory Opinions: Note 02 Dissent and Defiance
Doc PC(USA): Advisory Opinions: Note 03 Administrative Commission
PDF PC(USA): Advisory Opinions: Note 11 Church Property
Doc PC(USA): Advisory Opinions: Note 17 Schism
Doc PC(USA): Advisory Opinions: Note 19 Implementing the Trust Clause for the Unity of the Church
Web Presbyterian Outlook Statement about resources prepared by the Constitutional Services Department and the Office of Legal Services at the General Assembly level of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.)
Web Stated Clerk, GAC chief urge churches not to defect from PC(USA) We are better together in Christ's Unity

PC(USA) News Service

Presbyterian Google News

IRD Presbyterian News

The Christian Post


Denomination NameParentLocationSizeYear
United Presbyterian Church in the U.S.A. - UPCUSA(N) PUSA & UPCNA New York City8,909/2,342,4411958-1983
Presbyterian Church in United States (Confederate) - PCUS(S) Presbyterian Church in United States Atlanta, Ga.4,250/814,9311861-1983
Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) PC(U.S.A) UPCUSA(N) & PCUS(S) Louisville, Kentucky11,596/3,122,213June 10, 1983
Evangelical Presbyterian Church EPC UPCUSA(N) & PCUS(S) Livonia, MI67/19,000 (1982)1980/1981
Presbyterian Church of America PCA PCUS(S) Lawrenceville, GA260/41,232May 18, 1973
Orthodox Presbyterian Church Presbyterian U.S.A. Willow Grove, PA 300/20,417 1936
Associate Reformed Presbyterian Church Associate Presbytery/Reformed Presbytery Greenville, SC 250/40,392 1782



News Crosswalk The Intersection of Faith and Life
News Church Report National business news magazine
NewsPC(USA) NewsPresbyterian Church (U.S.A.) News Service
NewsSave Hollywood PresLinks to news about PC(USA) Troubles
NewsThe Layman OnlineTHE News Source about PC(USA)
NewsLayman - propertyThe Layman - Property Issues Archive
Blog Reformed Pastor EPC Pastor - Church Planter
BlogFull Court PresbyPastor Lance's Blog to his Congregation about PUP etc.
BlogClassical PresbyterianBlogging for the Reformed Resistance in the PC(USA)
BlogAnderson SpeakCommentary on Faith, Christianity, and the PCUSA by Noel K. Anderson
BlogBayou Christian Bill Crawford, Pastor First Presbyterian Church of Thiboduax
Blogblog 137Pastor Dave Moody, Trinity United Presbyterian Church, Sparta, IL.
BlogTruth in Love NetworkA group of Presbyterian elders who are concerned with the direction of the PC(USA).
BlogMark D. RobertsProfessor & Senior Pastor of Irvine Presbyterian Church, CA
BlogInstitute on Religion and Democracy25 years of working to reform the social and political witness of American churches
Blog The Berkley Blog James D. Berkley, Director of Presbyterian Action
BlogTom's ThoughtsTom Gray, Co-Pastor, Kirk of the Hills, Tulsa, OK
WebStand to ReasonChristian Ambassadors for defense for classical Christianity
WebPresbyterian ForumWorking for reformation through overt political action
WebWiki:PresbyterianWikipedia's Presbyterian Overview
WebKirk Of The Hills, Tulsa, OKChurch in Tulsa, OK - Fighting for its Property.
WebKirk's Legal Docs (pdfs)Kirk Of The Hills, Tulsa, OK
WebKirk Docs (text)Kirk Of The Hills docs, Converted to text
PDFLegal Strategy #1PC(USA)'s Legal Strategy for churches wanting to leave
PDFPresbyteries Process #2PC(USA)'s Process for churches wanting to leave
DocSecret Document #3News about a third secret document
PicPresby Chart 1Chart showing the history of breakups and mergers (standard)
WebPresby Chart 2Presbyterian Church History-Lesson 13-An Overview of Contemporary American Presbyterianism
WebPresby Chart 3 (text)History of the Presbyterian Church (USA)
Web Presby Chart 4 Denomination Family Trees (Interactive)
WebPresby Chart 5 ARPC Denomination Family Tree
WebMaps of ReligionsList of Many Maps of 2000 Census Data on Religion
PicMap: CountyMap of Denominations by County
Pic Map: Presbyterian Map of Presbyterian's as percentage of Population
Web ARDA Association of Religion Data Archives
PPTReport on PUPNew Wineskin's Report on PUP
PDFReport on PUPNew Wineskin's Report on PUP
PDFBook of OrderOfficial PDF Copy of Book of Order for PC(USA)
PDFBook of ConfessionsOfficial PDF Copy of Book of Confessions for PC(USA)
WebAdvisory OpinionsPC(USA) Stated Clerk Advisory Opinions (not binding, nor authoritative)
WebPC(USA) Constitutional MusingsOffice of Constitutional Services - Unofficial Thoughts
WebPC(USA) Amicus Curiae BriefsStated Clerk & AC on Litigation - Friend of the Court Briefs
WebGAPJC PC(USA)PC(USA) General Assembly Permanent Judicial Commission Decisions
WebPension Board PC(USA)PC(USA) Board of Pensions
WebFoundation PC(USA)Presbyterian Foundation, New Covenant Trust and New Covenant Mutual Funds
WebPC(USA) BOO AnnotatedPC(USA) Book of Order - Annotated
WebPresbyterian CoalitionWorking for a Revitalized Church
WebConfessing Church Movement1,314/434,697
WebNew WineskinsNew Wineskins Association of Churches(2001)

Usage: This information, including formatting/html,..., may be used by other sites, without limit. In Fact, I hope somebody would take over, with more time on their hands.

Blog Archive